Child Find

FCPS identifies, locates, and evaluates children residing in Fairfax County who are in need of special education and related services.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is required to inform the community of an individual's right to a free, appropriate public education and the availability of programs and services, including special education. FCPS has a responsibility to actively and continuously identify, locate, and evaluate those children, birth to age 21, inclusive, residing in Fairfax County who are in need of special education and related services.*

FCPS engages in a public awareness campaign in order to identify all children who may be suspected of having a disability by communicating with child care facilities and physicians located within Fairfax County. Additionally, FCPS conducts an annual meeting with representatives from private schools and parents who have placed their children in private school or who home-school about special education and how to refer a student for special education evaluation and service options available should their child be eligible.

Children Ages Birth Through Two

FCPS has an ongoing relationship with Infant and Toddler Connection (ITC) of Fairfax/Falls Church in order to assist in identifying children ages birth through two. Parents, providers, or medical providers who have concerns regarding a child in this age range should contact ITC for information regarding a referral.Interagency collaboration ensures that children identified early experience a seamless transition to services within FCPS upon turning age three by September 30 of the school year.

Children Ages Two Through Four

If a parent has concerns regarding their child ages two through four, inclusive, they should call 571-423-4121. Upon contact, information will be provided regarding interventions, workshops, screening, and evaluations.

Child Find screenings are free to children ages 20 months to 5 years old who are Fairfax County or Fairfax City residents. Note: Child must turn 2 by no later than September 30th.

School-Age Students

FCPS school-based administrators and teachers monitor progress of school-age students and provide specific interventions, as needed, to ensure appropriate instructional practices and to afford children and youth success in learning. Should an administrator, teacher, or parent believe that there is reason to suspect a child has a disability and is in need of special education, even if they are progressing from grade to grade, they should make a referral to the school’s local screening committee (LCS). The local screening committee follows procedures in order to determine if there is sufficient information to suspect a disability and to warrant an evaluation for special education. For more information on Special Education services, please contact the Department of Special Services at 571-423-4101.

Resident Students Attending Private School

FCPS is responsible for identifying, locating, and evaluating those children who reside in Fairfax County but who are placed by their parents in a private school in Fairfax County. Parents or teachers of a resident child parentally placed in a private school located in Fairfax County, or who is home-instructed, who believe there is reason to suspect a child has a disability and is in need of special education, should contact the principal of their student’s FCPS base school. A referral is completed and forwarded to the local screening committee. The LSC follows procedures to determine if there is sufficient information to suspect a disability and to warrant an evaluation for special education. The student will be required to register at the base school in order to receive a student identification number needed for data management purposes. Registration at the base school does not mean that the student is enrolled to attend an FCPS school. The cost of child find activities for private school students, including individual evaluations if warranted, are not considered in determining if FCPS has met its obligations for calculating expenditures under federal and state regulations governing special education.

Non-Resident Children Attending Private School

Parents or teachers of a non-resident child parentally placed in a private school located in Fairfax County, who believe there is reason to suspect a child has a disability and is in need of special education, should contact the principal of the FCPS school closest to the private school. A referral is completed and forwarded to the local screening committee. The LSC follows procedures in order to determine if there is sufficient information to suspect a disability and to warrant an evaluation for special education. The student will be required to register at the FCPS school in order to receive a student identification number needed for data management purposes. Registration at the FCPS school does not mean that the student is enrolled to attend an FCPS school. The cost of child find activities for private school students, including individual evaluations if warranted, are not considered in determining if FCPS has met its obligations for calculating expenditures under federal and state regulations governing special education.

FCPS child find responsibilities extend to all children, including those who are highly mobile or homeless, wards of the state, or who are incarcerated.

*Children suspected of having a disability may also be considered for adaptations and accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Please refer to Fairfax County Public Schools Regulation 1454.

Parentally Placed Students with Disabilities Attending Private School

Information on how FCPS serves students with disabilities placed by their parents at private schools.

Multipurpose Referral Form